|New Docs Japan|
A Whispered LifeLa vie murmurée
FRANCE / 2009 / Japanese / Color, B&W / Video (HD) / 110 min
Directors: Gilles Sionnet, Marie-Francine Le Jalu
Photography: Kato Takanobu, Yamazaki Yutaka
Editing: Marie-Francine Le Jalu, Gilles Sionnet, Lola Turpin
Sound: Suzuki Akihiko, Emmanuel Angrand
Producers: Pierre Lary, Hélène Bernardin, Gilles Sionnet, Marie-Francine Le Jalu
Production Company, World Sales: Des Films Nuit et Jour
To live is a significant undertaking, never satisfying, that leaves you gasping. The French filmmakers listen quietly and lovingly to the murmurs of Japanese people who respond intensely to the work of novelist Dazai Osamu and question what it means to live. Careful interpretations of Dazai’s writings and incidents in his life are juxtaposed with the lives of a college student, an unemployed worker, a singer, and an office worker, bringing their lives into sharp relief.
[Director’s Statement] When we first came to Japan in 2005 to work on a film on Dazai Osamu, the subtle and tortured author, we discovered a popular writer who talks directly to all readers, regardless of their sophistication. This empathy for people who doubt and struggle has been our guide all along in the direction of this film.
First assistant director with Patrice Chéreau, Léos Carax, Raoul Ruiz, and others, Gilles Sionnet has written and directed several documentaries. Among them, the 1997 film Chinese Shadow was a big audience success on the European network ARTE and on France 3 TV, and it has become a fundamental work for researchers.
Marie-Francine Le Jalu
Marie-Francine Le Jalu has directed several documentaries supported by the French Ministry of Culture and screened in festivals and contemporary art exhibitions, including Silence (2004), I Didn’t Want It (2002), and Heaviness and Grace (1997).